Designing and developing a Website is not a small task. It's no wonder then, that most businesses hang on to an outdated Website long passed it's expiration. For many, the pain of that last redeisgn still burns in their minds like it was only yesterday, even if it was five, six or seven years ago, or maybe even longer.
You might have been thinking about redesigning your site for a while now and just haven't acted on it, or you may not have any idea that your Website is the equivalent of bell bottom pants and a polyester shirt. In any case, it might be time to start that redesign.
Your Branding Has Evolved
Websites are an extension of your brand. It's often the first place customers get their impression of your business, so it's important that your Website reflects the most current brand image you want to project. While in the start-up phase, many businesses don't go through a process of establishing their brand, often sketching logos on napkins and building something simple with free online tools. In the rush to get "something" out there, corners are cut, budgets don't exist, and templates are purchased. Who cares that the shade of green in the logo doesn't really match exactly?
Over time, perhaps as you re-order business cards, you refine your logo, choose a particular font that better reflects your growth as a business, maybe even update the logo on your Website. But does the Website truly reinforce where your brand is today?
As your business evolves, and your brand matures, it is important to make sure the design of your Website is an accurate reflection of your brand. If your branding has outpaced the design of your Website, or worse, your logo has never been updated, it is most certainly time for a redesign.
Industry Standards Have Changed
It was once popular for the design of news Websites to maintain a similar style to their print counterparts. They featured lots of small content areas and lots of text in small regions. When the New York Times redesigned their Website to feature more of a magazine style, with large editorial images, they sent shockwaves through the industry. Suddenly all other news sites looked old and outdated.
This happens in all industries and it's easy to let your guard down. You built a site that met or exceeded the design of your contemporaries, but then someone comes along and designs something revolutionary, and now you have to catch up. Sure, everyone expects software companies to have bleeding edge designs, but when Microsoft redesigned their Website a few years ago, it made design conscious Apple's Website look weirdly outdated. And this happens in every industry.
When you look around the Web and see your competitors have recently updated their designs, it's definitely time to update yours. And if the competition still looks the same as they did 10 years ago, now is the perfect opportunity to shake up your industry and get everyone talking about you.
New Technology and New Expectations
Not so long ago, there was one platform ( Windows ), one browser ( Internet Explorer ) and one low screen resolution ( 1024x768 ) that anyone actually cared about. Visitors pretty much used similar hardware and software to view your site, and as long as they could tell what your links looked like, you would stand a chance of winning their business.
Today, that is no longer the case. Visitors come with devices of all shapes and sizes, and they expect a heck of a lot more. Today's user is savvy, appreciate sophisticated experiences, and have a ton of other options if you don't meet their expectations.
If your Website doesn't look and work great on, not just laptops and desktops, but smartphones, tablets, and even television sized screens, rest assured, one of your competitors will be more than happy to offer that to them.
It Has Just Been a LONG Time
With a new year right around the corner, it's hard to believe it's been 15 years since we worried about Y2K. Heck, you may have customers who were too young to remember Y2K. In the world of the Web, it might as well be a hundred years.
The point is, time moves really fast. If you take a moment to think about when your Website was shiny and new, was it more than five years ago? Then, even if you can't think of another good reason, it is definitely time to redesign.
The Perfect Time
Trends, technology, and business all move at a lightening pace and it's hard to keep up. Maybe impossible. You can never perfectly time your Website redesign so you stay relevant for the maximum number of years. But if you looked over this post and thought one or more applies to you, then it is time.
If you have an idea or need ideas for an updated look for your Website, please contact our Website Redesign Specialists.